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Posted by Lisa Lewis Koster - - 5 comments

For as long as I can remember, I've loved candy - sugar of any kind, really - which is why I've always been such a big fan of the Easter basket. I have fond childhood memories of racing around on Easter Sunday mornings, searching for my hidden treasure. (I recall that one year it was in the oven. I'm sure I was given a hint or I would've never found it.) 

The basket was always filled with the traditional Easter fare of jelly beans, Peeps, chocolate eggs (funny, we always used to call them footballs) and of course, the crowning glory of my Easter basket - a lusciously plump chocolate bunny, mine for the eating! I can still conjure up the anticipation I would experience as I quickly unwrapped the bunny, placed my teeth gingerly around the ear and allowed them to sink slowly into the milk chocolate. But instead of gradually working my teeth through the chocolatey goodness, they quickly met in the empty space between the two thin walls. 

It was hollow! What a gyp!

This was probably the first time I encountered false advertising, and I didn't like it one bit! I'm sure I was fairly young when I began asking for a solid bunny for my Easter basket. Sure, it looked smaller than the others, but it was chocolate through and through. Who wanted a plump bunny if it was filled with nothing but air? Not me!

Take a look at your calendar. Odds are, your days look just like the chocolate bunnies I requested - FILLED SOLID!  

No room to breathe...

No margin for error...

It seems as though overscheduling is reaching chronic proportions these days. And while we may feign complaining about it, oftentimes we wear our busyness like a badge of honor. "Well, if you think you're busy, wait until you hear my schedule!" 

We've become a nation of Martha's.

Before becoming a Christian - and for too many years after - I didn't see anything wrong with that. If the world had more Martha's, we could really get something accomplished! Being the first-born, perfectionistic, over-achiever that I was, the Biblical story of Mary and Martha made no sense to me. 

Jesus and his disciples came to their home one day, and suddenly the sisters found themselves with THIRTEEN dinner guests. Martha was scurrying around with the preparations, frustrated that her sister Mary was sitting around doing nothing. 

Maybe Martha thought the house needed to be spotless and she felt the closets should be cleaned (after all, this is Jesus we're talking about, and He sees everything...)

Perhaps she thought the table should look just so, complete with placemats, matching napkins and a seasonally-themed centerpiece (hand-crafted, of course.)

It could be she was scurrying to prepare a 7 course meal and it wasn't going well.

(Have you ever been there?)

This was JESUS after all; He was IN THEIR HOME and Mary was doing NOTHING! 

Can you feel Martha's exasperation? Since Mary wasn't responding to her nagging, Martha decided to go over her head. Certain that Jesus would tell Mary to get on her feet get to work, she asked Him, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” ~ Luke 10:40

I'm sure Martha was expecting Jesus to read Mary the riot act (as I was) but Jesus didn't address his words to Mary.

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” ~ Luke 10:41-42


Martha, like many of us, was making things more difficult than they needed to be. I'm still amazed at how complicated I can make things that should really be simple. Jesus pointed out that Martha was "worried and upset." I wouldn't be surprised if, while Martha was stressing out over hosting the perfect dinner party, Jesus was just thinking a simple sandwich would be nice...

Jesus pointed out that it was Mary who was doing the better thing. And what is the "better thing?" 

Spending time with Jesus!

How are you doing with that?

If we keep every waking moment of our day filled, where does God fit in? 

We need to be deliberate about leaving margin in our lives so that God can fill it. He generally doesn't shout at us. He whispers, which means we need to have some quiet time in our day if we're going to hear Him. We need space available in our schedule to do those things that God has planned for us; those things we often look at as interruptions.

You see, empty space is NOT a bad thing.


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5 Responses so far.

  1. Theresa says:

    Love your post! I think I'm guilty of being too much of a Mary :) I'm thinking Lord someone else can get things ready lol I need to learn be a Martha now and then too

  2. Faith says:

    Loved this. My word for the year has been " still" as in the verse from psalm 46 about being still and knowing God, to know our Lord intimately we need to be resting in him. It is my passion right now. I know that looks different for many Believers.....for me it means spending a god chunk iof quiet time with just the scriptures my journal and a walk in the woods!!

  3. Unknown says:

    Hi Lisa! I am here from Barbie's place today. I completely agree with this post! We moved last summer (military) and since then I have made an effort to NOT fill our calendars. It took starting from scratch to find the space between. Thank you for sharing this. Empty space is not a bad thing - indeed. Blessings to you!

  4. Wonderful analogy to make your point! That is a problem.... not to be so overly busy.... I give God time, but not always as much as I should. Thank you for the reminder. :)

  5. Starla J. says:

    Thank you for posting this.

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